Ring! Yo?

Chris Raschka, Author, Chris Raschka, Illustrator DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) $15.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7894-2614-7
Proving once again that Raschka dances to a different drummer, this engaging picture book bounds off in a wholly original direction and features a return engagement by the two friends from Yo! Yes? Here, readers find themselves privy to half of a conversation as, Hollywood-style, they watch one boy respond to what is being said on the other end of the conversation. The rest is left to the imagination, although Raschka does step in at the end to offer one possible scenario. A master of minimalism, he packs a punch with just a few chosen images and words (""Hey! Uh huh. No. You?""). His artwork is all line and suggestion, and despite the static ""stage set"" on which the action takes place, his choreography more than compensates. With a quick scratch of pastels and a swipe of watercolor, the boy fidgets and grimaces, his face erupting in rage, collapsing in sadness and lighting up with joy as he chats with his friend (""What? You are? When?""). The clever conceit engages the audience; once readers understand the premise, there's a lot of latitude for creativity as they imagine exactly what is happening on the other end of the line. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
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